Festival wants a stage

Organizers of the St. John July 4th festival are seeking funds to acquire a stage which can be used for Carnival events as well as be rented to other organizations for their activities.  Board members of the St. John Festival and Cultural Organization asked the Senate Finance committee to increase the group’s funding to accommodate a stage, as well as to provide for the rental of office space and a large storage container.  The stage would include a canopy and lights. Leona Smith, the Organization’s president, justified her request pointing out the Celebration generates significant revenues to the island through hotel room bookings and in creased revenues for other businesses, the Virgin Islands Daily News reported.

Chesney sightings

Visitors report seeing Kenny Chesney on island in the last week, at Caneel and downtown. 

Sources tell the Inquiring Iguana the visit was connected to the country singer’s planned pre-Thanksgiving ABC-TV special, featuring tunes from Chesney’s latest album.

Ferry price rises this weekend

The island’s two ferry services will increase the price of a one-way adult ticket from Red Hook to St. John $1 Saturday to $4. Children under 12 will pay $1.50, and the senior citizen rate will be $1.75.

Varlack Ventures and Transportation Services say their hike is a temporary fuel surcharge and will be removed Dec. 3e1.

St. John tire disposal plan

What happens to old tires?  If you buy new ones at O’Connor’s gas station, you take the old ones home with you.  There’s no place to store them at the Texaco station.  E&C gas station’s Myrtle Barry says customers pay a $6/tire fee for disposal. The tires are put on a boat to Florida for recycling. 

There may soon be an easier way, according to the St. John Source which reported the government has worked out a contract with A-9 Trucking to shred tires near the Bovoni landfill on St. Thomas. The current plan calls for the shredded tires to be put into the landfill. Presumably, a system will be established to have A-9 collect tires on St. John and truck them to Bovoni.

Book and Bean opens

The island’s book store and coffee cafe is open at the St. John Marketplace, on the first floor.

Tax bills are months late

The office of the Tax Assessor is blaming the government’s new residential property reevaluation project for failing to send out this year’s property tax bills.  Taxes usually are due August 31.  But the assessor, Roy Martin, told the St. John Source the Finance Department has not ironed out technical problems with new computer software which is part of the reassessment.  He said the bills are ready to be mailed but collections could not occur until Finance straightens things out.